- Music (and background noise) consumes some of our attention. The less complicated the music, the better we’re able to focus.
- Sound is similar to distance, time, or money: it’s relative. There will be times when listening to music is the most productive thing you can do—like when you’re working in a distracting office environment, or when a couple is having a loud conversation when you’re reading at a coffee shop. Then there are times when music is less productive—like when the office is relatively quiet, or the sum of the coffee shop conversations happening around you fade into a collective hum. (This is why apps like Coffitivity can bolster our ability to focus.)
- No matter what, the music will occupy some of your limited attention
- Listening to music boosts your performance on habitual tasks.
- With habitual tasks, it is easy to get bored. Hence music provides some arousal
- Habitual tasks don’t consume our complete attention, hence we are still able to listen to music
- Music can lift our mood considerably.
- Music can make us very happy and boost our energy and performance
- The more familiar you are with a song, the less of your attention it consumes.
- We tend to prefer music we are familiar with (even complex ones) and we tend to be less distracted by it
- Extroverts seem to perform better while listening to music, though it still compromises their performance.
- Music tends to boost our energy and whilst sometimes we feel like we’ve gotten a lot done that day just listening to music; it isn’t always the case, and it’s easy to fall into this energy vs productivity trap
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